About METRO

METRO moves people to jobs, health care, education, recreation and more. Our mission is to provide safe, clean, reliable, accessible and friendly transportation services to a diverse population. Beyond bus and rail, our services include curb to curb shuttle service in various communities, curb to curb paratransit service in the City of Houston and most of Harris County, and vanpool service throughout most of the region.

We serve the region’s major employment centers and residential neighborhoods, and we’re a vital partner in welcoming visitors, promoting safety, and helping with natural disasters.

METRO’s Service Area Covers More Than 1,300 Square Miles

We provide transportation services to the City of Houston, major portions of unincorporated Harris County, and 14 smaller, surrounding cities known as Multi-Cities:

METRO Board of Directors

METRO has a nine-member board of directors comprised of members appointed by the City of Houston, Harris County or the Multi-Cities.

Sanjay Ramabhadran, Chair, METRO Houston

Sanjay Ramabhadran (pronounced Rahm-bud-run), P.E.

Chair

Appointed by the City of Houston Mayor

Confirmed by Houston City Council

Don Elder Jr., First Vice Chair, METRO Houston

Don Elder Jr.

First Vice-Chair

Appointed by the mayors of the 14 multi-cities in METRO's service area

Roberto Treviño, P.E.,  Second Vice Chair, METRO Houston

Roberto Treviño, P.E.

Second Vice-Chair

Appointed by Harris County Commissioners Court

Troi Taylor, Secretary, METRO Houston

Troi Taylor

Secretary

Appointed by the City of Houston Mayor

Confirmed by Houston City Council

Lex Frieden, Board Member, METRO Houston

Lex Frieden

Appointed by the City of Houston Mayor

Confirmed by Houston City Council

Bob Fry, Board Member, METRO Houston

Bob Fry

Appointed by the mayors of the 14 multi-cities in METRO's service area

Christopher G. Hollins, Board Member, METRO Houston

Christopher G. Hollins

Appointed by Harris County Commissioners Court

Diann L. Lewter, Board Member, METRO Houston

Diann L. Lewter

Appointed by the City of Houston Mayor

Confirmed by Houston City Council

Terry Morales, Board Member, METRO Houston

Terry Morales

Appointed by the City of Houston Mayor

Confirmed by Houston City Council

View from the back of the METRO boardroom during a meeting of the Board of Directors with many people in attendance including some in motorized wheelchairs.

Board meetings are typically held at 10:00 a.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month. Committee meetings are held on Wednesday and Thursday of the prior week. All meetings are conducted as a hybrid of in-person at 1900 Main Street and remote video conference.

Executive Leadership

Thomas C. Lambert, President and Chief Executive Officer, METRO Houston

Thomas C. Lambert

President & Chief Executive Officer

Thomas Jasien, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, METRO Houston

Thomas Jasien

Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Rosa Diaz, Director of Board Support, METRO Houston

Rosa Diaz-Hernandez

Director of Board Support

Chuck Berkshire, Executive Vice President Chief Operating Officer - Operations, METRO Houston

Chuck Berkshire

Executive Vice President Chief Operating Officer - Operations

Vera Bumpers, Chief of Police, METRO Houston

Vera Bumpers

Chief of Police

Alan C. Clark, Chief Strategy Officer, METRO Houston

Alan C. Clark

Chief Strategy Officer

Cydonii V. Fairfax, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, METRO Houston

Cydonii V. Fairfax

Executive Vice President & General Counsel

George Fotinos, Chief Financial Officer, METRO Houston

George Fotinos

Chief Financial Officer

John Garcia, Vice President and Chief Auditor, METRO Houston

Juan (John) Garcia

Vice President & Chief Auditor

Confirmed by Houston City Council

Jerome Gray, Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer, METRO Houston

Jerome Gray

Executive Vice President & Chief Communications Officer

Santiago Osorio, Chief Safety Officer, METRO Houston

Santiago Osorio

Chief Safety Officer

Shrikanth (Shri) J. Reddy, Executive Vice President, Planning, Engineering and Construction, METRO Houston

Shrikanth (Shri) J. Reddy

Executive Vice President, Planning, Engineering, & Construction

Debbie Sechler, Executive Vice President, Administration, METRO Houston

Debbie Sechler

Executive Vice President, Administration

Alva I. Treviño, Executive Vice President, Special Projects, METRO Houston

Alva I. Treviño

Executive Vice President, Special Projects

Kimberly J. Williams, Chief Innovation Officer, METRO Houston

Kimberly J. Williams

Chief Innovation Officer

Key Facts


Riding METRO

All METRO vehicles and rail station platforms are accessible under the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

On buses, features include:

  • Ramps or lifts
  • Priority seating
  • An easy-to-reach call bell
  • Special belts designed to secure mobility devices

Rail cars and METRORapid vehicles are level with the station platform for easy boarding and offer multiple areas for wheelchairs. 

Station platforms have sloped ramp access from both ends of the platform and feature variable message signs and contrast-colored warning strips.

Accessing METRO around the region is easy. With more than 35 parking facilities located outside the loop, it's convenient to park your car and quickly access express bus service to employment centers traveling on High Occupancy Vehicle lanes.

If you’re planning to visit Houston, “outside the loop” refers to areas outside I-610 which makes a loop around Downtown Houston and some of its immediate surrounding areas.

METRO has thousands of transfer options on surface streets along local bus routes. In addition, we have numerous facilities across Houston and Harris County where transfers are available to other METRO routes and services, providing access to even more destinations. This includes more than 20 transit centers which are sheltered waiting areas under video surveillance at all times and patrolled daily by METRO police officers. Some feature digital signs and screens displaying service alerts and estimated wait times for routes that stop there. They’re often found at the beginning or end of a bus or rail route.

Safety

At METRO, your safety is our No. 1 priority. We have our own police department – MPD – with officers licensed by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement. Every day, uniformed MPD officers patrol area streets, roadways and METRO facilities. They use various modes of transportation including police cars, motorcycles and segways. The MPD canine force sniffs out explosives and illegal drugs.

We conduct video surveillance of all:

  • Buses
  • Trains
  • Rail stations
  • Park & Ride lots
  • Transit centers 

METRO partners with the City of Houston, the Texas Department of Transportation, and Harris County in Houston TranStar, the regional transportation and emergency management center. TranStar is home to METRO Police Communications, which include the camera surveillance of Park & Ride lots, police dispatch, and coordination with the City of Houston’s Tow and Go program.

Sustainability

The U.S. Government has committed to achieving a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by 2030. To help deliver on that commitment, METRO's Board of Directors has approved a plan that will;

  • Procure only zero-emission buses by fiscal year 2030
  • Manage its operations to avoid or minimize environmental impacts on the health and safety of our employees
  • Apply green principles to the design and management of its facilities
  • Promote energy management, recycling, reusing and repurposing of materials, and waste reduction opportunities
  • Collaborate with other organizations to achieve shared environmental goals

To build a more sustainable transit system, METRO's modern fleet features more than 400 clean-running diesel-electric hybrid buses. METRO will be introducing electric buses and paratransit vans as part of a larger Climate Action Plan.

METRO's Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses are currently the least costly to operate due to reduced fuel costs.

Financial

METRO’s budget is funded primarily by sales tax revenue, with lesser amounts funded by fare box revenues and grants.

METRO’s sound financial management and transparency have been recognized repeatedly from organizations including:

  • Government Finance Officers Association
  • Texas Comptroller’s office
  • Texas Public Interest Research Group

Rating agencies have given METRO bond ratings of AA+ (Standard and Poor’s) and Aa2 (Moody’s), and categorized METRO’s ratings as “stable.”

During the pandemic, METRO successfully secured federal COVID-19 response funding that helped the Authority further increase public safety measures while continuing to provide vital transportation services to essential workers and others.

If METRO Didn't Exist

METRO’s impact on the Houston community is immense – with positive effects on mobility, quality of life, the Houston economy and our environment:


Car

235,000

Additional cars that would travel Houston freeways and streets

Parking

65,000

Additional parking spaces that would be needed in downtown Houston

Shape of a cloud with CO2 written inside it

700 Million Lbs.

Additional greenhouse gases that would pollute our air each year

Train

$16.7 Billion

Additional property value growth near METRORail lines (2010-2016)

Sources:

METRO Regional Travel Model, ridership data
Houston HOV Lane Operations Summary, 2017
Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) transit benefits calculator
Houston METRO, "METRORail Corridor Economic Impact Analysis 2010-2019," 2019

Landmark Events

 

Throughout COVID-19, METRO has provided clean, safe rides – helping transport essential workers to their jobs so they could provide critical services for our community.

We’ve installed shields to protect operators and passengers, made hand sanitizer available on every vehicle, expanded our cleaning efforts and mandated the use of masks.

In response to these and other measures, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) honored METRO with a Certificate of Merit award in 2021. The award specifically acknowledged METRO's commitment to safeguarding the health of its employees and riders.

In 2019, Houston-area voters overwhelmingly approved the METRONext Moving Forward Plan. It includes expansions across several types of transportation with 500 miles of travel improvements, along with investments in service and accessibility – all with no tax increase.

The plan is designed to give you more ways to move around our region and support vibrant communities.

Project-related construction is actively taking place.

METRO had a record-breaking 125,000 boardings in a single day during the 2017 Astros World Series Parade.

We provide frequent transit during other large-scale local events like the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

And METRO has been essential in helping Houston attract and host major national events like the NCAA Final Four and the Super Bowl, making bigger and safer attendance possible.

During the 2017 storm, METRO moved 15,000 people into shelters, helped Red Cross supplies reach their destinations and provided transit for essential services.

“We would have not been able to get people to the various shelters without the help of METRO. We certainly appreciate them. They have gone over and above.”

- Sylvester Turner, City of Houston Mayor

In 2015, METRO “reimagined” its entire fixed-route network from scratch to ensure it was meeting your needs and providing optimal service in light of changes in population, job centers, and other factors.

The redesign:

  • Increased bus routes offering frequent service (every 15 minutes or better) 
  • Provided weekend service on all local routes
  • Connected bus routes with new rail lines
  • Adopted a more efficient grid-based system

METRO opened for business in 1979, inheriting a company called HouTran with a bus fleet in disrepair and service that was unreliable. During the 1980s, improvements were made, and the system became increasingly safe, clean and reliable.

Ground was broken on METRO’s first rail line in March 2001. The original 7.5 mile, 16-station line ran from UH-Downtown to Fannin South. Service began on New Year’s Day 2004. That line remains part of what’s now known as the Red Line.

In November 2003, voters approved the METRO Solutions referendum which called for significant expansion of light rail and other METRO services.

Welcome Aboard

 

METRO bus along the 9 Gulfton / Holman route picking up a rider waiting at a bus stop with a bus shelter.

All METRO buses are ADA accessible, offer free Wi-Fi, come equipped with video surveillance security cameras and can carry up to two bikes at a time on an easy loading bike rack attached to the front of the bus. 

The regular fare to board is $1.25. The discounted fare is 60 cents.

Local bus routes are color-coded. During most hours each day:

  • Red routes run at least every 15 minutes
  • Blue routes run every 16-30 minutes
  • Green routes run every 30-60 minutes

View from inside a METRO Park & Ride commuter express bus with riders seen resting or wearing headphones and looking at their smartphone while seated in plush, comfortable seats.

With more than 25 Park & Ride facilities outside the 610 Loop, it's convenient to park your car and quickly access express bus service to employment centers traveling on High Occupancy Vehicle lanes.

In addition to being ADA accessible, all METRO Park & Ride commuter express buses offer free Wi-Fi so you can catch up on work, or sit back and relax with music or podcasts. They also come equipped with video surveillance security cameras and can store larger baggage and bikes in externally accessible compartments.

The regular fare to board ranges from $2-8 depending on your location. The discounted fare is half price.

Customer using walker as they board a METRORail vehicle along the Red Line in downtown Houston as other riders are seen exiting, including one with a bicycle.

The Red Line travels along Main Street connecting Downtown Houston and the Texas Medical Center.

The Green Line travels along Harrisburg Blvd. connecting Downtown Houston and the historic East End.

The Purple Line connects Downtown Houston to both Texas Southern University and the University of Houston. 

All METRORail vehicles are ADA accessible, offer free Wi-Fi and come equipped with video surveillance security cameras. You can even bring your bike on board.

The regular fare to board is $1.25. The discounted fare is 60 cents.

Rider boarding METRORapid on a level platform at a station along the Silver Line in Uptown Houston.

METRORapid combines elements of light rail and bus to deliver faster connections and a convenient ride. It features:

  • Modern design, with wider doorways and level boarding
  • Stations and platforms like rail
  • Dedicated, bus-only lane to move through traffic
  • Bus-friendly traffic signals

The METRORapid Silver Line runs along Post Oak Blvd. in Uptown Houston. All vehicles are ADA accessible, offer free Wi-Fi and come equipped with video surveillance security cameras. You can even bring your bike on board.

The regular fare to board is $1.25. The discounted fare is 60 cents.

Customer boarding METRO curb2curb shuttle.

METRO curb2curb is an on-demand, shared-ride service that provides customized curb to curb transportation within specific zones in:

  • Missouri City, Texas
  • Acres Homes neighborhood in Northwest Houston
  • Trinity Gardens neighborhood in Northeast Houston
  • Hiram Clarke community, east of Missouri City

You can access the vehicle at predefined “anchor points” within the zone or book a ride ahead of time so the vehicle can pick you up at the location of your choice.

All vehicles are ADA accessible.

The regular fare to board is $1.25. The discounted fare is 60 cents.

Customer being assisted into METROLIft minivan while another customer walks alongside the vehicle using a walker.

METROLift provides curb to curb transportation for members of the disability community who meet certain eligibility requirements. 

Service is provided with ADA accessible vans and minivans that accommodate persons using wheelchairs, scooters and walkers. Boarding chairs are available to assist any patron unable to access the van using the stairs. All vehicles offer free Wi-Fi.

All METRO buses and trains are also ADA accessible. So, when and where possible, we encourage all people with disabilities to consider riding buses, light rail, METRORapid and/or METRO curb2curb. This includes METROLift customers themselves, who are entitled to ride those services for free with up to one assistant.

METRO STAR Vanpool vehicle in HOV express lane on U.S. Highway 59 South with gridlock traffic in both directions.

Drive Less and Save More on gas, tolls, parking, and vehicle maintenance by commuting together with other working professionals. Vehicles travel in High-Occupancy Vehicle lanes that reduce the stress of sitting in traffic.

METRO STAR Vanpool is ideal if you live or work where METRO bus service isn’t available. Vanpoolers meet at a designated, central location where they leave their cars during the day while the van is in use. 

If you don’t know others you can ride with, we’ll try to match you with commuters who share similar travel patterns.

We also allow companies to become vanpool sponsors, creating access to certain tax benefits.

Cars traveling in the HOV lane on Interstate 45.

You can use express lanes to bypass traffic and save time on portions of:

  • Interstate 10 (managed by Texas Department of Transportation)
  • Interstate 45
  • U.S. Highway 59
  • U.S. Highway 290

If you’re the only person riding in your vehicle, a toll is required. If you have multiple occupants, you may not need to pay a toll depending on: 

  • Time of day
  • Freeway you’re traveling

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